Scouts-L Mail Archive for December of 1999: Re: Copyrights
Sun, 12 Dec 1999 18:11:04 -0600
Others may have responded earlier, but....I'm going to answer your question
in reverse order:
>Specifically, can the Eagle rank or medal be reproduce on a cake for a Eagle
Well, Baskin-Robbins has a ice cream cake with the Eagle Scout Medal on it;
and there was a bakery when we lived in Greenwood (Bowling Green) Kentucky
that made a cake in the shape of the Eagle Scout medal....and I've eaten a
LOT of slices from Eagle Scout Medal/badge cakes...so the answer is a
>Okay, I have an easy question for all you legal experts out there. Are the
>BSA rank insignias protected by copyright laws? If so to what extent?
I am NOT a legal expert, but....
The BSA rank insignia are protected by the BSA's Congressional Charter, and
normally cannot be reproduced or copied without the written permission of
the BSA. However, back in the late 50s, the BSA gave individuals registered
or affilated with the program officially permission to use the insignia and
descriptive items to further the program's goals and to recognize and
promote individuals or units.
So, while you cannot make a "fake Life Badge" for instance, you can use the
heart and First Class Life Scout badge design on a cake or as drapes to
recognize Scouts. You can take photos or scan the badge and use it in a
leadership training program to show others what the badge looks like, where
it's worn on the uniform and how to earn it....and you can use that same
scan or photo in a multimedia program as backdrop for a photo of a Scout
earning that rank. You cannot, however, wear the Life badge as a "patch"
for your holey bluejeans, or as a emblem on a non-BSA uniform or jacket.
The basic rule of thumb is that whatever you choose to do with it, if it is
to further promote or uplift the program, the BSA would normally not bother
you about it. Otherwise, if you're using it commerically in any way, or in
self-promotion, you can't use it, shouldn't use it, and if you did and a
local Council (or National) finds out, you would be asked NOT to use it.
This applies to all of the printed materials, the badges and insignia, and
other items which are the property of the Boy Scouts of America, to include
its uniforms. And of course, naturally, those whom are not registered
members nor have any official affiaition (for instance, are not associated
with a local Council or unit, parents of Scouts nor, chartered partner
organizations of Scouting units, etc.) with the program cannot use any of it
Hope that helps out!
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
personal inquiries via email@example.com,
blackeagle@SCOUTER.net or firstname.lastname@example.org
professional inquiries via email@example.com
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